Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy (VAB)

What is a vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB)?

Illustration of a vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB).

A vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB) is a procedure that takes multiple samples of tissue from an area of abnormality for testing.

It is the most common alternative procedure to traditional core biopsy in managing suspicious breast lesions, as it allows multiple cores of tissue to be removed with a single insertion.

How it works

The area of abnormality within the breast is precisely located using either an ultrasound or mammogram. A small 5mm incision is then made to collect tissue samples from the suspicious area of the breast. Mammotome and SenoRx are the two most commonly used devices for VAB.

Why do you need a vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB)?

There are tiny masses in your breast that can only be detected by a mammogram. If your doctor notices something suspicious from your mammogram, breast ultrasound or MRI results, you may need a breast biopsy to check for malignancy. A biopsy is used to diagnose or rule out breast cancer.

Your doctor may recommend a VAB because it is safe compared to other tissue sampling techniques.

What are the risks and complications of a vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB)?

During the biopsy, you may experience mild discomfort. Significant bleeding or pain during the biopsy is rare.

After the biopsy, you may experience:

  • Bruising
  • Discomfort
  • Tenderness
  • Mild bleeding at the biopsy site, though occasionally bleeding is significant

Other rare post-biopsy complications include:

  • Breast infection
  • Allergic reaction to the local anaesthetic

Complications from a breast biopsy can delay subsequent breast surgery.

Learn more about breast biopsy procedures (including VAB) in this comprehensive guide.

Why choose Parkway East Hospital?

At Parkway East Hospital, our general surgeons are trusted by residents on the eastern coast of Singapore for their expertise in a wide range of medical conditions.

Our experienced surgeons are skilled in carrying out different forms of breast screening and surgery, such as vacuum-assisted biopsies.

Our minimally invasive procedures allow our surgeons to make a diagnosis with minimal pain and scarring for our female patients.

Estimated cost

Private healthcare can be affordable. Use our Hospital Bill Estimator to determine the estimated cost of this procedure. If you have hospital insurance, find out how you can use your insurance.

Our general surgeons

At Parkway East Hospital, our surgeons are experienced in using biopsy procedures like vacuum-assisted biopsy to detect and treat patients with suspicious breast lumps.

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